One could, if one wanted, say the one key to the Raiders winning this game has more to do with themselves than any particular match-up. And that is true to a large extent. But saying that downplays that there are some real threats on this Bills team and the Raiders have a tough challenge ahead of them.
Here are a few in particular that I’ll be watching in this one.
Bruce Irvin vs Tyrod Taylor
Taylor’s 174 yards rushing is fourth in the league among quarterbacks. His ability to escape pressure and make plays. Irvin will often be responsible for keeping contain out the outside to not allow Taylor to elude pressure and either scramble for yards or buy time to find an open receiver.
Mario Edwards Jr vs Richie Incognito
Say what you want about Incognito as a person, but that man is a bully on the field to be certain. The three-time Pro Bowler is fighting through an ankle injury, so that could cause him to be less than 100%, but I wouldn’t count on that. Edwards will have to be disciplined and powerful in order to keep Incognito from pushing him around. If running back LeSean McCoy is going to get anything going, that’s where the Bills will try to send him.
Derek Carr vs Micah Hyde
Hyde switched to strong safety full time for the Bills after spending the first four seasons of his career mostly at corner for the Packers. It looks like a pretty solid move considering Hyde is leading the NFL with 4 interceptions along with 7 passes defended. Carr will have to be aware of where Hyde is at all times.
Michael Crabtree vs Tre’Davious White
While Amari Cooper will be moving around from inside to outside, White will spend much of his time at left cornerback trying to lock down Crabtree. The rookie top pick (27 overall) has played pretty well this season, leading the league with 11 passes defended. But he can be had. For instance in week 5 against the Bengals he was scorched by AJ Green for a 77-yard touchdown bomb.
Jalen Richard vs Matt MIlano
The replacements. Richard will be the Raiders’ lead back for this game, replacing Marshawn Lynch who is suspended. Matt Milano will get the start at linebacker with Bills leading tackler Ramon Humber out with an injured thumb. Milano played well in relief of Humber last week, putting up 5 tackles and an interception.